Monday, January 30, 2006

How not to prepare for your long run

Sat AM: 5K Coolrunning challenge - 23:59, no vomit.
Sun PM: 16K long run @ 5:52 pace. Ugly.
Sleep: Fair
Weight: 75.8 (more dehydration than anything else, methinks)

Well, Saturday was a hoot. After the obligatory socialising (during which I actually met Mr WT for the first time, as opposed to hanging around in the same "chat circle") I went for a warm up with sfGnome and Kit (another I'd met for the first time).

As I had stated, the target today was 24 minutes sans vomit. The 24 minute group was myself & Kit. We both took off like startled rabbits and I passed through 1K in 4:30 slightly behind Kit.

Now what made this a good run was that normally under these circumstance, I'd say to myself "right, let's see if we can hang on to it and bring home a big PB" without listening to the body (hence my new Coolrunning handle: Chunderbolt). Instead, I slowed down and did the next K in 4:50. I tried to keep a balance between pushing myself and blowing up for the rest of the race. The result was as I had outlined above - 23:59.25, no vomit. I'm stoked about this - it's the first time I've shown the discretion to accept that the PB wasn't on before my body had failed me. I'm learning.

Now, let's talk about Sunday. Sunday was a bloody marvellous day. I had been to a family wedding on Saturday night, so I was in no state to get up early and run on Sunday morning. Running in the late morning was not an option - I had arranged to spend the day in the city with a ... friend. So I spent the day walking around Sydney and eating thing I ought not eat and drinking only flat whites.

So after gorging myself on white chocolate & raspberry bullets and on tired legs I headed out for a long run on the same course I did 2 weeks ago. It was rough. It was heavy legged. I had the taste of the bullets repeating for most of the run and I had a stitch for most of the second half. I was in a pretty good mood, but that had bugger all to do with the run, which was utterly atrocious.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Short Morning Cycle

Fri AM: Ride, 21.7K @ 25.1kph
Sleep: Good
Weight: 77.8Kg (phat bastard!)

I had a thouroughly enjoyable at an Australia Day BBQ, eating to excess and exercising little. I was involved in an impromptu boys vs girls soccer, err sorry, football game. Now, I consider myself to be fit these days. After ten minutes I was gasping. I guess I ran around in circles a bit too much.

I had trouble getting my substantial arse out of bed this morning. As a result of my excess the previous day I got a nasty surpirise when I weighed myself. I jumped on the bike and just had time for 21K at a fair pace. It actually felt pretty good.

5K race tomorrow. Target is: 24 minutes, no vomit.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Sunrise Over Homebush

Mon AM: Run, 7K, slow as a wet week
Tue AM: Swim 1500m, easy.
Wed AM: Run, 9K with 4K at 10K pace that was supposed to be HM pace.
Sleep: Ordinary

I've got a funny old week, this week. Things have come up, so in the interest of convenience I'm doing all of my training in the mornings - so I'm seeing a few sunrises this week.

On Monday I felt a bit rusty after Sunday's dehydrating effort (even after a good sleep). I just rolled around the six and a bit loop, adding an extra lap of the lake in Bicentennial Park to bring it up to 7K.

The sleep was a bit more scarce on Monday night, so I decided an easy swim was in order. I swam an easy 1500m taking a short breather every 500m. It was a little frustrating, they had the casual lap swimmers squeezed into four lanes (which is not many for Homebush Bay), and I was too quick for the slow lane and too slow for the quick lane. I ended up in the fast lane and spent the morning getting passed like a dodgy curry.

This morning I was wide awake at 4:30, so I decided to get out super early and knock out my midweek run. The plan was exactly the same as a fortnight ago: 9K with 3 or 4K at HM pace. The conditions were perfect in the pre-dawn darkness, and the first four K were just perfect - felt great, felt strong and life was good. I didn't want to bugger it all up by going from 5:45 pace to 5:10, but after the Garmin struck four I cranked it up and it wasn't too bad at all. My breathing got a bit heavy, and my pace wavered between 4:40 and 5:20, but I banged out 5:10, 4:55 and 5:03 K's without too much bother. By that stage I felt over it, but I knew I was right for a fourth which I did in 4:54. I jogged the last one in 5:30 and had a lot of time to stretch and get ready for work. All in all, a lot of fun.

I had planned to do a race on Thursday. Change of plans, so I'll probably rest and ride tomorrow and Friday, and I am currently planning on doing the Coolrunning Challenge, but this plan may change too.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

It doesn't feel like a rest week

Sat AM: Ride, 40K @ 25.4kph
Sun AM: Run, 10K in 58:00

I got out reasonably early on Saturday with the intention of rolling around for 40K without pushing it. Four laps of my well travelled 10K loop around Homebush Bay.

I reckon I inadvertantly pushed it too hard, probably because I had rested on Friday and I felt seven feet tall and bullet proof. Hence I ended up averaging over 25kph, which is my usual yardstick for pushing it over this loop.

I went over to Windsor in the afternoon to sort out some stuff with my ex, and ended up having a great time playing with the dogs, and a not so great time mowing the lawns in 34 degree heat (I volunteered - sucker). Then I spent the night catching up with my best mate, who lives in a place called Glossodia, 20 minutes north west of Windsor.

I crashed there in the early hours of the morning, and off not nearly enough sleep decided to run with the Hawkesbury tri club this morning. No one was there when I turned up at 7:30, so I ran a loop of the 10K cicuit myself.

My God, I struggled. I wish I'd bothered to put my HRM strap on, as it would've made interesting reading. My program had 12K on it, and I was intending to add the extra 2K on a loop around Windor, but by the time I'd done 10K I was, to be blunt, well and truly rooted. I reasoned it was a rest week, and the last thing I needed to do was to stress my body out by going too far, so I packed it in. It was hot, I had exhausted myself on the mowing, and I think this one was a victory for wisdom, but I will have to watch it - too many "wise" decisions like this and I could end up underprepared.

Several minutes later the tri club guys started finishing up. Since I moved they had started going at 7:00AM to beat the heat. So I ended up catching up with them anyway.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

In need of Sleep

Thu PM: 6.5K in 34:40
Sleep: Zip. Nada. Zero. Not a wink.

After a particularly rotten night's sleep I felt like a zombie for most of the day today on what was supposed to be a rest day, but given I had consumed a keg of coffee to get through the day I reasoned a nice little tempo run might give me a better chance of sleeping.

The plan was the same as Wednesday - a loop of the undulating 6.5K with 2K at HM pace, however, I got out and for the first K I felt comfortable at 5:08 pace, so I shifted the plan to running the first 3K at HM pace and then drop back to 5:30 for the last few K. I pumped out the next 2K at 5:05 and 4:58, but I had started breathing like the old asthmatic donkey. I ran the last 3.5K at about 5:25 but was well stuffed. The breathing hardly improved and the heartrate stayed at about 87% of max.

Glad I did it. I'm not surprised I struggled given the rotten sleep. I'll take tomorrow as a rest day and then finish the rest week with a couple of light sessions over the weekend, then back into the real stuff on Monday.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Plodding through the rest week

Mon PM, Run 5.25K @ 6:10 pace
Tue PM, Swim 1500m, 15 * 100m @ 2:20
Wed AM, Run 6.5K in about 34 minutes
Sleep: Very Ordinary
Weight: 77.6Kg

Monday & Tuesday were mammoth days at work. Monday was a preparation day, and I didn't get out of work until 8:30, but I decided I just had enough time to sneak in the schduled recovery run. I did a few very slow and soggy (it was pissing down) loops of a sparsely trafficked, well lit but boring area near the flat. I felt sluggish and and tired, but that was to be expected.

Although this run blew the cobwebs out, I reckon it was a bit close to bedtime, and it was a factor in the insomnia I suffered that night.

Tuesday was another full-on day at work, but by 5:45 the big meeting I was preparing for was over and there was no way in hell I was hanging around in the Milperra/Revesby area until 7:00PM for swim squad.

I decided on a shorter, sharper solo swim. My last few solo efforts have been 20 * 100 @ 2:30. This time I did 15 * 100 @ 2:20. I really noticed the 10 seconds. I can pump 2:30s out until the cows come home, but by the end of this session I was really starting to breath heavy. I even went back to 2-stroke breathing at times (I usually do 3 stroke breathing by default).

My new watch has a timer feature - so I plugged 2:20 into it, and it beeped at me when I needed to start each lap. The great thing about this is that I looked at the clock next to the pool as I started - it said 6:10. I then knew that as long as I kept up my pace the session finished when the clock read 6:45 - no counting! How good is that?

This morning I was out early to get my midweek run done. It was always going to be a bit of a struggle given the previous night's exertion, even more so given another poor night's sleep. And thus it proved so.

I did it on my favourite hilly 6 and a bit loop around Homebush Bay. The first couple of K's at 5:45 were laboured. The plan was to crank it up for 2K at this point for 2K at 5:12 (HM pace). I did these at 5:06 and 5:00, so I still have trouble really getting the pace right.

I slipped back to 5:30's for the last bit, and felt right stuffed by the end.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

SMC 10K - Getting There

Sat AM: Ride, 32.55K in 1:24
Sun AM: SMC 10K, 51:25

I pretty much decided to have a proper crack at the SMC 10K on Saturday morning, so a soft ride was the order of the day. I just went out on the 10K loop and rode three slow laps of it.

Had a small breakfast before heading off to Smithfield where I had the now customary catch up with Go Girl and Horrie.

The race started well enough. I was on PB pace, but after 3K my cardio was feeling it. I rounded the 5K turnaround right on pace, but I was in trouble. Horrie passed me a little before the turnaround and later told me I was running well but not looking good. He was right, I vomited a couple of minutes later. I held a decent pace for the next 2K, but I vomited two more times and it was a case of strike three and you're out. I took a short walk break and jogged it in for 51:25.

A couple of positives: Despite the poor execution it was still my second fastest 10K ever (more a reflection of how badly I've stuffed my last few attempts), and the "jog" in was at 5:30 pace, but it felt quite slow.

Another top morning at the SMC. Several huge PBs and a lot of jovial endorphin fuelled chatter afterwards and home for a lazy day.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Living on the Edge

Fri PM: Run, 17K in 1:39

Well, today I picked up where I left off, and that's with running, not Krispy Kremes.

I didn't receive sfGnomes excellent advice to visualise them as treacle covered dog the one turds until too late. Instead I ate one and then looked up the nutritional information on the website, which was enough to prevent me from eating another one.

Now, I like to think I'm a risk taking, off-beat kinda guy who lives on the edge. With this in mind, I did something crazy today.

I did my long run on a Friday night!

I had been looking forward to this run for a while. I knew once I reached 16K I could use a loop I've only done once before but really enjoyed. It's a loop based on a course I pinched from 2P's Website.

It was an awesome run. You know the type, when you feel light on your feet, you're in a great mood and as Simon Townsend used to say, the world really is wonderful.

To be honest, it was a bit slow (average pace 5:52) and the cardio didn't enjoy it much (average HR 165, 86% MHR). It was a bit humid and I sweated buckets, but this is just all of the detail. The important thing is that I had a really enjoyable run.

Give me strength...

Some mongrel has just put a mountain of Krispy Kremes on the table just outside my office.

How the smeg is a bloke supposed to lose weight?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

I Keep Forgetting ...

Weight: 78.2kg (fat bastard)
Sleep: Good

This post is just an answer to a question sfGnome asked me several posts ago, I keep blogging when I'm tired and forgetting to answer it.

The logic behind my taper is:

The 15K walk the week before is simply the factoring in of the fact that I have agreed to do the Walk Against Want with a friend.

The days leading up to the half will not be strenuous. I have marked the Friday before as a 5K Tempo run. On reflection, I might do this on the Thursday and leave the Friday as a rest day. In any case it will just be a 5K jog with a K at HM pace, just to remind my legs that they are expected to run fast. I will probably add a couple of strides into the run the day before for the same reason.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Midweek Magic

Tue PM: 1.6K Swim Squad
Wed PM 9.25K Run, 4K of HM Pace

Swim Squad was standard fare.

Tonight's run was a pearler. I felt reasonable during the day, but a little fatigued. It looked like it was about to urinate down when I got home so I got straight into my gear and out the door.

The plan was for 9K with 3K at HM pace, stretching it out to 4K if I was feeling OK. It was cold and windy when I set out on my standard 9K River Run. I did the first four K at standard training pace, feeling better as each K went by. At 4K I slipped into pace and did the next two at 5:10 & 4:54. I was puffing a little bit and thinking I should slow down a bit, but then I really hit a rhythm. I missed the next split, but I was still going strong after the third at pace (5:11) that I did the fourth (5:07). The wind was a cross breeze, so it didn't knock me around, and the rain held off until the last K, when it cooled me down.

Tomorrow is a rest day, and I feel great after a top session.

As Gronk would say:

Mood: :D

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Plod Around The Bay

Mon PM: Run, 7K. Slow Bay Run
Weight: 77.6
Sleep: Good

With a 7K recovery run on the program I took my gear to work and diverted to the Bay Run on my way home, taking in an easy lap with the masses. I was a bit stiff from Sunday, and I didn't feel great, but it wasn't a bad run.

The highlight was when I rounded a bend and saw Mr Wild Thing tearing around an oval, saying to myself "Ah, this must be run club." Sure enough, as I was looking for familiar faces, Wild Thing popped into view and we quickly exchanged greetings while she used my arrival as an excuse to break up a bit of speedwork. Nice to see you again, WT!

I do wish I'd finished it earlier - I missed the first 11 overs of the cricket, and that would've been fun to watch.

While my sleep has been good, the last few days have been strange in that I've been waking up very tired, and staying that way for most of the day. I initially thought it was the herbal insmnia tablets I was taking, but I stopped them, and although surprised and happy to get decent sleep, I'm still waking up tired (wasn't that a Hoodoo Gurus song?). It's a bugger.

Now, to answer a couple of questions:

My right eye has been virtually blind since birth.

The SMC is on my plans for tyhe next couple of months as 10K practise runs at HM pace, but I may not get there this weekend due to a family breakfast that is in the process of being organised.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Wiped Out

Sat AM: Bike, 40K in 1:38

The aim on Saturday morning was just to get out and roll around for 40K, not mess myself up too much and get an endorphin hit. I've settled on a 10K loop for my rides which is mostly flat with some minor hills. It's mostly wide bike paths, which allows me to get some speed up without facing traffic. I can't remember if I've mentioned this before, but I am virtally blind in my right eye, which can make checking for traffic over my right shoulder a right pain in the arse.

So I did four lots of this loop averaging 24.7kph. Do be honest it was probably a bit quick, as I didn't pull up as fresh as I wanted to.

One pleasant surprise during the ride was to get "spotted" in my new Coolrunning tri-top. I was approaching a pair of walkers, and yelled "passing right", to which one replied "hello, Benny!"

It was Bernie G, out for a walk with her mum. We exchanged greetings and I continued on my way.

Sun AM: Run, 14K in 1:22:20

I think I can safely class this one as a Tradesman's run. At no point during the run or before it did I really want to do it. I felt lethargic when I got up, my legs were heavy and my lungs felt like I was running at 5:10 pace rather than 5:50.

The run was two times around my bush-Telstra stadium-Bicentennial Park-swamp loop with a loop around the Village Green to round it to 14K. I got home, cooled down in the pool and felt like crap for the next three hours.

Anyway, on to nicer thoughts. I thought it might be an idea to publish to the world my program for Eaglehawk, so here's the plan: (arrow down lots, I couldn't get rid of the space)

Wk EndMonTueWedThuFriSatSun
8/016K PaceSwim8K RunRest6 1K Int40K Ride14K Run
15/017K PaceSwim9K RunRest30K Ride16K Run10K Pace
22/015K RecSwim6K RunRest5K Tempo40K Ride12K Run
29/017K RunSwim9K RunAqthnRest5K TT16K Run
5/028K RunSwim10K RunRest6 1K Int40K Ride18K Run
12/029K RunSwim12K RunRest7 1K Int40K Ride20K Run
19/025K RecovSwim6K RunRest5K Run40K Ride10K Pace
26/029K RunSwim12K RunRest30K Ride5K TT20K Run
5/0310K RunSwim13K RunRest5 2K Int40K Ride22K Run
12/0310K RunSwim13K RunRest8 1K Int40K Ride15K Walk
19/036K PaceSwim7K RunRest5K Tempo3K RunRace

The pace runs are planned for the SMC as HM practises. Apart from that I plan to run a part of the Wednesday runs at HM pace, but not all of them or I'll just end up burning out.

This plan brings me back to the concept of a "rest" week every four weeks. It used to be something that worked really well for me in the past as a way to recharge, but I lost the habit. Hopefully it will keep me firing on all cylinders for the length of the program.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Speedwork is your friend

Weight: 78Kg
Sleep: Good

Wed PM: Run, 7.6K in 40:42 (5:21 pace)
Fri PM: Run, 6 * 1K efforts with 2 minute walk intervals.

Wednesday was a typical example of what happens when you are making your program up as you go along. Initially I thought 2K warm up, 4K at HM pace, cool down. But I went out too hard for that, missed the first K split and picked up 5:12 for the second split. I felt like rubbish, so I changed my mind and just hung on for a quickish 7.6K. I sped up over the last mile to do that at 5:10 pace. This would have been comforting had I not felt like I was doing 5K pace. Still, it’s no surprise, I’d been flogging it a bit over the last few days.

My original intention on Friday morning was to get up early and do my intervals, but the herbal insomnia tablets I’ve been taking have been making me more and more lethargic in the morning, this morning I had no intention of getting out of bed at 5:30.

This worked out well as I needed to blow the cobwebs out after a full on week at work. So I went out along the Parramatta River, and I’ll tell you now: there ain’t no cobwebs left now. After a short warm up the spilts went:

There was not much left in the tank at the end, and I reckon the last split reflects that. I stumbled home for a quick dip in the pool and a bit of couch occupation.

I’m going to start on a program that I’m setting up at the moment next week. The program will be in preparation for the Eaglehawk Half marathon in Victoria on March 19. It would’ve been the Weston Creek Half but for a recent offer to do the Walk for Want on that day (March 12) with a friend, so off to Victoria it is. I’ll probably take a couple of days off and drive down.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Catch up - training through the heat

Weight: 78.2Kg
Sleep: generally good

Sat AM: Bike, 50K of hard slog in 2:07.

I rocked up with the intention of riding with the Hawkesbury tri club's beginner group, but nobody else did so I was with the main group. They decided to ride the punt loop. This took us out from Windsor to the Sackville ferry, across to Cattai and back into Windsor. It has a nasty hill after the ferry and a really nice 7K downhill in amongst some other hills. I struggled for most of the ride, but the Garmin did measure one of the 5K splits at 7:56 - easily the quickest I have ever done. It was a bit hot, but I didn't feel it was awful.

Sun AM: 11K Run in 1:05. Hot and ugly.

I got out at 6:30 in an effort to beat the heat. It was still 31.5° by the time I finished. And it was tough. The previous two days activities had me really struggling by the end of the run. It was a quick loop through Windsor before doing the tri-club 10K race loop through the fragrant turf farms and by the RAAF base.

Mon PM: Run 5.8K in 30:25.
Now this was just stupid. I did a heap of gardening over the weekend as well as the running and cycling, and on Monday afternoon I had the bright idea of going out for a hilly 6K at 5:12 pace with Virgil (the Garmin Virtual Partner).

I ended up getting Garmin grief. The Garmin said I did the first K in 5:30. I knew this was bollocks because it felt abou 5:10 pace and I wasn't that tired, so I just run the rest of it at what felt like 5:12 pace. It was a bloody hard run, and I felt like I was hyperventilating at the end. Sportstracks assesses it as 5:14 pace, and I'll take that as near enough under the circumstances.

Tues PM: Swim 20 * 100m at 2:30.

I rocked up for swim squad to be told it's not on this week. I just made it to Homebush in time to push out the same swim as last week. I felt fatigued, but I managed to do it without too much hassle.

I'm back at Homebush now, where I have internet connectivity - but no dogs. :(

At the moment I'm leaning towards an attempt at 1:50 at a half marathon near Bendigo on March 19. I'll keep you posted.